Transform Baltimore


Baltimore's New Zoning Code

The Department of Planning would like to thank the Mayor and City Council for completing their review of City Council Bill #12-0152. On December 5, 2016, the City Council passed and the Mayor signed into law a new zoning code for the City of Baltimore. This code will replace the 1971 Zoning Code.  It is intended to simplify and streamline development review, provide an easy to understand set of rules while creating a more modern code that fosters growth and development while maintaining neighborhood character. 

Below is a brief summary of the expected questions as to how the City will roll out the new code and prepare for an effective date. This document will be updated periodically as we move forward and as we receive questions of general interest.

For any questions not addressed here please email

The Manuals listed below were adopted by the Planning Commission on May 25, 2017. 

1. When will the new code be in effect?
The new code will be effective Monday, June 5, 2017.  All permits submitted prior to that date will be reviewed under current code, though the review and issuance may not all be completed until after June 5, 2017.  Permits submitted on June 5, 2017, or later will be reviewed under the new code. 

2. Where can I review the new Code?
The new code consists of text, which includes tables, and a map.  It is currently available on the City Council website.

TEXT    MAP    Map on CityView    Map of Individual Zones    Map Legend & Summary

Map Disclaimer:  While the City has made every effort to be accurate in the information provided in this FAQ and in the on-line maps related to Transform Baltimore, the City makes no warranty, representation, or guaranty as to the content, sequence, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any of the information provided.  The City will assume no liability for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information, regardless of how caused and for any decision made or action taken or not taken by the user in reliance on the information.  If you believe an error exists, please e-mail us at

3. How will the changes affect me?
The Zoning Code is the rules and regulations that govern the use of land and development.  If you aren’t 1) doing work on your property (e.g., adding an addition or a roof deck); 2) making changes to the way you use your property (e.g., opening a new type of business or adding a new apartment unit in your building); or 3) building something new, changes under the new Zoning Code will not affect you. If you are making these types of changes, a Zoning review will be part of your permit application process, and you’ll be notified of the steps you need to take to adhere to the new Code.

4. How are historic districts impacted?
Zoning applies on every property in the City regardless of historic district status. In local historic districts, the rules of those districts apply in addition to zoning.

5. How will corrections/changes be handled?
Any errors or inconsistencies will be reviewed by City staff, led by Law and Legislative Reference and a corrective bill will be introduced to the City Council.

6. At what point will the new Zoning code impact permit review?
If a permit application is submitted prior to the effective date of new code June 5, 2017, AND it is considered complete, it will be reviewed under the existing code even if final permit issuance does not occur until after June 5, 2017.  It is highly recommended to not wait until the last minute to submit a permit under the current code and risk it not be considered complete.

If the permit application is submitted prior to June 5, 2017, and modified, the Zoning Administrator will make a determination as to whether the modification constitutes a new application.   If it is considered a new application and it is after June 5, 2017, it must be submitted under a new code.  See section 2-202 (k) Transition Rules Pending Applications.

Click here to download the pdf Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).